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Creativity is good for business

I had an interesting discussion the other day with a friend who works in the construction industry about creativity.  He pointed out that in his business the perception was that creativity was a distraction from the business in hand.  He didn’t want “creative” solutions.  He wanted efficient, repeatable processes that delivered results quickly and reliably.

I pointed out that it was creativity that came up with the efficient, repeatable process in the first place.  Sometimes I think there is an unhealthy association between “creativity” and “far out” or “whacky”.

This article in Psychology Today asks the question, “Is creativity the number 1 skill for the 21st Century?”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/working-creativity/201102/is-creativity-the-number-1-skill-the-21st-century

It draws the following conclusions (and links to evidence to support them.)

1 – Creativity and innovation are the number 1 strategic priorities for organizations the world over

2 – Creativity is part of all our day jobs

3 – Organizational profitability rests on individual creativity

4 – Creative teams perform better and are more efficient

5 – Creative organisations are more profitable

6.  Creative leadership is fundamental

7.  Successful economies and societies will need to be creative

My understanding is that the more efficient and repeatable are the production processes that we come up with, the lower the costs of production and the less profitable those processes become.  In a network economy where the cost of production tends towards zero, the only way to maintain and increase profits is through continuous innovation.  That demands, creativity, flexibility and a business strategy that puts individual creativity as a top business priority.

Here’s the link again

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/working-creativity/201102/is-creativity-the-number-1-skill-the-21st-century

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